Tuesday, January 12, 2016

leftover from last year

I wrote this last year, but for some reason didn't quite get around to clicking on 'publish' before Christmas and heading off to Summer Gathering...

Well I'm getting there! I now have my much loved American cabinet and the blanket box out of storage and in my room, and my small bookcase full of children's paperbacks. However even with the best will in the world the larger bookcase and my chair will not fit and still leave me with enough room to actually get from the door to my bed, so they remain where they are... for now!

It was quite nostalgic going through the contents of the blanket box which had been filled to the brim with 'stuff'. Anything I couldn't remember either owning, or the origins of and had no immediate need for went in the 'get rid of' box. There were a couple of things that have long since been replaced and they too have been passed on. Having unpacked everything and sorted through it all I then began to repack the blanket box with the kitchen stuff I don't currently need, and then started filling up the remaining space with various odds and ends. But then I stopped and thought about it.If I'm trying to downsize to a Tiny House kind of quantity of belongings then I have to not only be able to fit it all in my bedroom, but if it can't be useful in this sized space then why keep it? There won't be room in a Tiny House for storing things for 'one day I might live somewhere bigger'! So the pictures in frames and stained glass came back out, and a couple of ornaments that have too much sentimental value to part with. And yes I found space for them, albeit with deciding to part with a few other things that had been previously taking up that space. A few things did go in the blanket box though earmarked for gifting on to particular individuals at some future point in time.

It feels very satisfying to have more of my belongings around me, rather than them scattered to the winds. There is a lot of history, my history and family history, represented by the things that have survived several decluttering culls. Everything has a story behind it, although there's one rather pristine looking paua pendant that I can't quite place, but I've hung it anyway on my 'mobile' of necklaces made from an embroidery hoop and a spare cord.

And you know what? I still have free cupboard space and my room doesn't feel overcrowded. Okay so the pile of Christmas presents and the pile of stuff gradually accumulating to pack to take to Summer Gathering does take away from the overall picture of an organized living space, but it is still very much livable in. It made me realize just how much I must have got rid of during this major declutter. Also it makes me realize that I might just be able to pull off this total downsizing thing after all! Which means one less hurdle in the way of doing so. An exciting, liberating, but also slightly scary thought.

Years ago the idea was mooted at a Young Friends camp for a bunch of our generation getting together at some indeterminate point in the future and forming an intentional community, a bit like the Quaker Settlement, but not at the Settlement. There were various reasons why a different set-up was felt to be preferable, and probably a totally incompatible combination of ideas as to what it could comprise of. But practicalities didn't matter as it was a 'one day in the future' idea rather than a 'lets do it now!' one. However almost 9 yrs down the track and several children later, the idea has resurfaced, suggestions as to a where have been made and there's even a possible site... and including Tiny Houses in the overall scheme of things has been suggested as one couple are in the process of building theirs! Well the timing isn't right for me if the current suggestion goes ahead, but it opens up another possible future option, whether they manage to set something up sooner or later. Again an exciting, but slightly scary thought. And then an email came through about a Quaker women's cooperative house possibility, again an immediate option that wouldn't work for me, but an new idea to mull over....

Thankfully I don't need to decide anything right now, but Leith's words in a conversation we had at the WGYF+10 event keep coming back to me; we were discussing employment rather than living circumstances at the time, but it is just as relevant. I was trying to explain my inability to articulate quite what it was I felt called to do in life, and she astutely asked 'is that because you don't know what you are called to do or because it doesn't exist yet?' Part of my Tiny House dream is to live as part of an intentional community, to have my own space, yet not be 'living alone'. I haven't explored yet whether that could be possible at the Settlement, but the fact that they are looking in to having Resident Friends has offered one possibility of a means of being there at a future date and seeing if it is the right place for me. After all I can't imagine me getting anything built in a hurry! I'm still not convinced about leaving the Far North though, but as each new option arises it helps me figure out what it is I am looking for, and where I'm being called to be. However I'm pretty certain that here is very much where I'm meant to be for now!

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